Rafael Devers explains decision to decline Home Run Derby invitation

Boston Red Sox, MLB All-Star Game

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Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers explains why he will not participate in the 2021 Home Run Derby in Coors Fields.

With Rafael Devers making his first trip to the All-Star Game, one would think the Boston Red Sox power-hitting third baseman would be all about the Home Run Derby, but he is not participating in it.

Devers has 22 home runs already and may surpass his career-best mark of 32 set two years ago. Even with the thin air associated with Coors Field in Denver, Devers relayed to his Boston manager Alex Cora on why he is not doing the Home Run Derby this year. Devers’ message conveyed by Cora to WEEI makes some sense: He does not feel like a home run hitter during batting practice.

Since the Home Run Derby is essentially glorified batting practice, maybe Devers has a point?

Rafael Devers explains why he will not participate in the 2021 Home Run Derby

With Boston in first place in the AL East standings entering the middle of July, it is understandable for a key part of the Red Sox’s offense like Devers to be reluctant about participating in the Home Run Derby. Yes, the long ball is a big part of his offensive game, but chasing one home run after another could result in a slump entering the season half of the season. Boston cannot afford that.

Even if Boston has a lead in the AL East standings, it is not like the defending AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays are going away either. They are 2.5 games back of Boston entering Saturday’s slate. We have seen Tampa Bay catch fire before to become the best team in the Junior Circuit. With only five postseason berths in each league this season, winning the division becomes even more precious.

While fans will miss out on Devers in the Home Run Derby, he is making the right call for his team.

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